Sunday, February 26, 2012

Predictability and the Oscars

I write this watching the Oscars red carpet. While I can never resist watching the ceremony, I haven't seen a lot of the nominated movies this year, so I'm less worked up about the Oscars than I sometimes am. I also feel like Oscar-watching must have been more fun when there weren't hundreds of Oscar pundits pontificating online.

I've seen four of the nine Best Picture nominees. The other night, I mentioned this to someone I had just met, and then, without any wrong guesses, he correctly picked the four that I've seen: The Artist, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, and The Tree of Life. I was rather impressed -- he didn't even know of my francophilia!

Perhaps I'm as predictable as the Oscars themselves: of course I would have seen the French Nostalgia Trio and the highbrow art film.  (My roommate also says that when she saw a preview for The Artist, her first reaction was "That seems like a Marissa kind of movie.") I feel I should see Moneyball for Aaron Sorkin's acclaimed screenplay, but it's hard to persuade me to see a baseball movie in the theater. My desire to see The Help for feminist reasons is counterbalanced by my worries about its racial attitudes, "whitewashing the past."  I never got excited about The Descendants, maybe because I was not super impressed by Up in the Air and don't feel like seeing another George Clooney serio-comedy.  And you must realize there's no way I'd go to War Horse or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -- they sound turgid and sentimental and didn't even get great reviews.

I'll be happy if The Artist wins as predicted -- it's my favorite of the four I've seen -- though it might be nice if Scorsese or Malick got Best Director to spread the wealth.  Rooting for Hugo to win Art Direction and Tree of Life to win Cinematography.  I wish I'd seen more of the Best Original Screenplay nominees -- I had some issues with Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris script, so I kind of hope it doesn't win, but I don't know what to prefer in its stead.  The Artist? As a playwright, could I get behind a silent movie winning Best Screenplay?

We'll find out soon enough, I guess.

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